December 22, 2014

Killingbeck retires as Au Gres City Manager

City passes 2014-15 budget

Posted

Au GRES — Citing city council attempts to fire her, longtime Au Gres City Manager Pat Killingbeck has retired from her position, with April 30 being her last day as city manager.

Killingbeck submitted a letter stating her intent to retire to Mayor Tom Ennes April 16. Her letter claimed city council members tried to fire her multiple times.

“After 30 years of employment with the City of Au Gres, I am retiring from my position as City Manager. My retirement is due to member (sic) of City Council attempting to ‘fire’ me at their February, March and April meeting of City Council. My final date is April 30, 2014,” Killingbeck’s letter read.

During a special meeting April 1, city council approved placing Killingbeck on probation for 90 days, during which time council members said the working relationship between her and council had to improve. About one month prior to that motion’s approval — March 4 — Councilman Dan Pockrandt made a motion to remove Killingbeck as city manager, but the motion failed to receive a majority of council votes.

Much of the controversy that has recently surfaced between Killingbeck and city council has revolved around operations of the Au Gres City Park and campground.

“The majority of a lot of problems is right down at that park,” Pockrandt said in March. “I’ve had I don’t know how many people, before I ran for office, complaining about the park. And they’re not all liars and BSers, and they’re concerned with what’s going on there.”

City Clerk LaVonne Pritchard said city council would likely schedule a special meeting to begin looking for a new city manager. She said with an election being held May 6, the regular monthly meeting has been moved to May 19, but council will probably want to begin its search before then.

“If they don’t hold a special meeting, nothing is going to get done or even started until May 19,” she said. “I think they want to start the process a little sooner than that.”

Killingbeck’s letter was read aloud by Ennes during the city’s budget meeting April 30, according to Pritchard. During the meeting, council approved the city’s fiscal year 2014-15 budget.

Pritchard said the general fund budget estimates revenues and expenses at $536,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Both estimates are down from the 2013-14 budget, which was $575,000, Pritchard said.

“That is down from last year, primarily due to taxes,” she said. “Taxable value is still decreasing.”

Included in the projected revenue is an estimated $82,000 transferred from the city’s fund balance, Pritchard said. She said at the beginning of the 2013-14 fiscal year, the city had $385,000 in its fund balance, and would likely have to use some of those monies to balance the end-of-year budget for the city.

“We’re not quite done with this fiscal year,” she said. “Looking at it we’re estimating that we’re going to have to take $55,000.”

However, the $55,000 could be higher or lower, Pritchard said.

“Something could happen, or it might not even be that bad,” she said.

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